RE the incident at the Romans event at Malton.
I read the article on page two of the Evening News (July 25) with great interest, since I was in the middle of the incident. My recollection differs somewhat from the account given: more than one person ‘tumbled’ to the ground, the horse was galloping and appeared to be in a panic, and the reported injuries were not minor!
We enjoyed the morning’s events and had just completed a tour of the remains of the fort with an archaeologist from York.
At about 1.30pm we were between the horses’ paddock and the corner of the main enclosure.
Hearing a noise, I turned to see a horse break out of the side of the paddock. I think it was trailing a white rope which surrounded the paddock, although my companions disagree. It then turned towards us and galloped past us up towards the corner of the main enclosure. It turned right and ran into a group of adults and children standing next to the rope which was surrounding the main arena. It was seen running out of the arena, and tangled up with a rope. It then turned back in a circle, still at speed and ran into more spectators including our group.
Seeing it trailing ropes, which stretched out to its left, as though caught on something, it was heading to pass to our right. Fearing that we would be dragged along by being entangled in the rope, I shouted to my companions to get down. I dived under the rope, but my wife and her friend were knocked over by the force of the rope. Our friend’s husband told me later that the horse jumped over me whilst I lay on the ground!
While my wife was helped to her feet by myself and others, our friend had been hit harder. A Roman soldier comforted her (an ex fireman from Nottingham, called Rick – to whom we give many thanks).
The paramedics arrived quickly, to be reinforced by the Air Ambulance with a doctor and a BBC video cameraman.
I may be mistaken, but I then only saw three of the four horses in the paddock. As the Air Ambulance arrived, the horses were led off to the paddock in the photo. I do not think the photograph in the newspaper is of the original paddock, since this was between the car park, a hedge and the tents, none of which can be seen. It was also much smaller than the one shown. Ambulances and further support then arrived.
Following a checkover, our friend was taken to York A&E and we left the ground by ten past two.
The man and the woman also taken to hospital from near the enclosure reportedly suffered a broken leg and dislocated hip – surely not minor injuries!
We left York A&E about 5pm; the other couple were still there.
I do not know who the fourth person injured was, but I did see a young enactor with weal marks on his leg.
Many thanks to the emergency services and to those who helped us, some of whom we were unable to thank in person.